Your dreams are set to one day become a great psychologist or psychiatrist but your grades aren’t so good and you barely have any experience of volunteer in the psychology field. The harsh reality is that getting accepted to graduate school for a PhD program is difficult. Here’s what you should know before you apply.
You need several things for graduate schools even think about accepting you. These are grades, GREs, statement of intent, letters of recommendation, experience, and an official transcript showing grades from your 4-5 academic years.
Your grade point average is important since schools have a cut off on what they will and will not accept. For instance masters programs require 3.0 or above while PhD programs require 3.5 and above. If you are short here you need to make it up in another area.
Most programs will require you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). There are three sections. They are quantitative, verbal, and analytical. Here is a great site that has practice exams. www.greguide.com/gre-practice-tests.html. The test is difficult but with enough studying and practice you should be able to get a good score. For PhD programs a score of 1200 or above is recommended and for masters programs over 1000.
Your statement of intent needs to state why you choose that specific program. It has to be clear, concise, and answer the questions the graduate school asks. Make sure to write drafts of this paper making sure your writing is good. If you have trouble writing and need help proofreading we recommended the site www.errnet.net. This great site proofreads your work in seconds and emails the results as low as a dollar a page. You can try shrinking the size of your document to fit if money is an issue.
Letters of recommendation need to be from an authority source. A letter from a professor will have more weight than a co worker. When finding those that can write you a good letter consider what skills of yours they can write about and how well they can evaluate your skills. These letters are meant to “talk” you up and show graduate schools that you are the best candidate for their program. At the end don’t forget to send letters thanking those that recommended you to your dream school.
Experience is crucial for the program you desire to get in to. It needs to be an area related to the type of program you are applying to. For instance if you are applying to clinical program it helps if you have volunteered at a behavioral center and understand the type of environment for that field.